Utopia ECM

Utopia ECM (Enterprise Content Management) can be defined many different ways.  My definition is when the ECM system is so intertwined with the business process and business software applications that one really can’t exist without the others.  The users of the systems don’t even think about the fact that they are using ECM technology. Here are some examples:

  1. The sales rep submitting an expense report and scanning their receipts into an electronic workflow, doesn’t even think of the technology that they are using to start a business process.
  2. Traveling executives can retrieve, review and approve invoices and expenses from their laptop computer in a hotel room anywhere there is an internet connection.
  3. The employee on the order fulfillment line pulls up the supporting documents for the order details and instructions directly from their business application, but the source of documents were really from an integrated ECM system.

Remember how things like this used to happen without imaging, document management, workflow and system integration?
This concept of Utopia ECM became very apparent to me recently in an upgrade and migration project for an existing customer who is moving from an antiquated ECM application to ILINX.  It made me actually stop and wonder how they went from the simple concept of creating an electronic file cabinet, to a system that is virtually integrated into every department and many of their business processes throughout the company.  What I found out is that they took things one step at a time and have been sticklers about the following: 1) You get what you plan for, not what you pay for and 2) select vendor/supplier partners who have your best interests at heart.  The rest is just details.

Utopia ECM, isn’t that what we all want for our businesses?

John Smetana
ImageSource, Inc.

Acronyms, Are We Our Own Worst Enemy?

If I have learned anything from my 38 years in the computer industry is that there is no shortage of acronyms. This sometimes raises an interesting dilemma when Solution Selling. Terms like ECM, EDMS, & CMS many times mean different things to different people. Even simple things like Document Imaging can have a different meaning depending on the audience or even the vendor, just talk with someone in the copier business. A survey conducted a couple of years ago among Executives clearly identified that one’s understanding of ECM, Workflow, Records Management, etc were all over the map. To make matters even more confusing, vendors pick up on clichés and phrases that are representative of their own products and don’t necessarily reflect the terminology of a competitive product or the industry. Recently I was asked to do a demo on eDiscovery only to find out what I was really being asked was to do a demo of a Records Management Product. Bottom-line is you can’t ask enough questions when qualifying a new prospect and don’t assume because a certain terminology means something to you it means the same to the prospect.

Bob Garrido
Senior Account Executive
ImageSource, Inc.